By: Rochelle L. Cruz 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has now delivered a total of 368 RxBox units to UP-PGH (40) and DOST Regional Offices in NCR (50), VII (100), IV-A (36), III (40), XI (31) and VIII (71) for distribution to selected hospitals and healthcare facilities in the region helping the medical frontliners in monitoring COVID-19 patients. 

The RxBox is a telemedicine device capable of monitoring the patient's vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation. It can also be used as an electrocardiogram and detect pregnancy through its tocometer sensor. Moreover, the electronic medical records can be recorded and transmitted via the internet to doctors and health specialists for seeking consultation and medical advice. Originally intended to serve the far-flung communities and rural areas in the country, the RxBox Project 1000, being led by the DOST-CALABARZON, has been repurposed this year as response to the efforts to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

With the capabilities of the RxBox, the risk of infection to the medical frontliners will be lessened as this telemedicine device helps in reducing physical contact with COVID-19 patients. It will also allow them to attend to more patients as they can be easily monitored through the computer at nurses’ station.

The delivered RxBox devices in the respective regions are being inspected by the Regional Training Coordinators (RTCs) of the DOST Regional Offices through a Clinical Acceptance Testing (CAT). The team from UP Manila has developed an audiovisual presentation material on how to conduct the CAT inspection which will serve as an additional tool aside from the manual. With the limitations on mobility due to the pandemic, this AVP will help the DOST RTCs in the inspection partnered with online/virtual assistance from the UP training team. Other inspections of the devices before delivery were also done virtually to protect everyone’s health and safety.

The next delivery of another 47 RxBox units will be at Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula).

The RxBox is developed by researchers from UP Manila and Diliman with funding support from DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).